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1996 SPx Baseball Review (John is BACK!)

First off, I’d just like to thank anyone who has been reading this blog though the years. The fact that my reviews still are still gaining views and comments years after they’ve been posted online (especially after a long dormancy years ago), means a lot to me. I especially want to thank Matthew for his amazing work and keeping the blog alive with new content. Since he can’t have all the fun, I decided to bust a box of 1996 SPx baseball today. Old school SPx cards are some of my all-time favorites! Anyway, I may be a little rusty at this (after it’s been SIX years since I’ve done a review) but here goes nothing!

Box Details: 36 packs per box, 1 card per pack, $30


Base set: The base set is comprised of 60 cards. Each card features features a small action shot of the player as well as a close-up and second action shot using holoview technology. The perimeter of each card features a die-cut design and a special color corresponding to the player’s team. In this box I received 29 base cards, completing 48.3% of the set in the process. I did not receive a single duplicate.

old Parallel (60 cards, 1:7 packs): Derek Jeter, Wade Boggs, Ron Gant, Jason Kendall, Rey Ordoñez

It was somewhat strange pulling cards 42, 43, 44, 46, and 47 for my gold parallels but I was very stoked to find that Jeter!

ound for Glory (10 cards, 1:24 packs): Manny Ramirez

This set features some of the game’s best of the mid ’90s but it doesn’t differ very much from the base set.

Ken Griffey, Jr. Commemorative  Card #KG1 (1:75 packs)

Mike Piazza Commemorative Card #MP1 (1:95 packs)

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A+

Like I stated earlier, I received no duplicates in this box. Those that were paying close attention may have noticed that I actually received an extra card in this box. One pack had two base cards instead of one and brought my total to 37 instead of 36. 🙂

Condition: B

I was a little worried that between all the die-cut edges and foil that I could end up with several damaged cards but this box was actually relatively kind! Aside from some damage on the back edge of one of my base cards and a severe centering issue on another, the cards were in excellent shape.

Pulls: A-

I really can’t complain here. I received both Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza commemorative cards as well the one gold parallel I wanted more than any other in Jeter. I was also happy to get a second Yankee gold parallel in Boggs. A different Bound for Glory insert would’ve been nice but I still can’t complain. Realistically, I did about as well as I could without pulling one of the very rare autographed Commemorative cards, both of which are seeded 1:2000 packs.

Value: B+

This was a very fun break for the price of about $34 after shipping. Many other sellers online are asking for anywhere between $45-65 not including shipping. You will get a pretty decent starter set for a very attractive product as well as a few cool inserts and parallels. If you are really fortunate, you can pull a great early certified autograph of a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

For a complete checklist of this product, click here.

Overall Grade: A-

1999 Paramount Baseball

So I ordered 3 different boxes to break and review and to be completely honest with everyone, the 98 Gold Label retail, and 98 Upper Deck retro weren’t anything to write home about.  If you would still like a review of either or both, please leave a comment for me down below.  I’m super excited to have a lunchbox to take with me to my Elementary classroom with Griffey Jr. on it though 🙂 Now on the break that impressed me the most!

I do want to mention that a scanner will be in hand within a day or two, so please bare with the iPhone pictures for now.


Price: $29

36 packs per box – 6 cards per pack

Pacific is famous for their inserts and numbered parallels, which I also enjoy finding in packs from the 90’s.  This box didn’t disappoint in low odd inserts and surprises!

The base set consists of 250 players and you get at the least 4 of them out of the 6 cards per pack.  I have close to the base set, however two of the players I always want to see come out of breaks (Alex Rodriguez & Ken Griffey Jr.) didn’t show up in this one!  The cards themselves have a very simplistic look to them but any foil lovers with like the gold foil names.  The color of the foil also eludes to the base or parallel set it belongs to.


Copper Parallel- Hobby Only (1 per pack)

I received 36 of these as expected.  Nothing too different here other than the lettering.


Team Checklists (2:37 packs) 

Despite some strange odds which all Pacific products are known for, we beat the odds here with 2; them being Brad Radke and Ben Grieve.  I can’t remember the last product that had checklists as inserts but in this case they turned out to be decent looking cards.                       More gold foil 😉


Holographic Silver Parallel (#d to 99)

Now this parallel set really stands out with the silver foil and gold Holo Silver stamped. Andy Benes came from this box.  If I ever see an Alex Rodriguez like this I will surely jump at the chance to pick it up!


Personal Bests (1:37 packs) 

If you haven’t picked up on the common theme of foil being the catch to this set then you can probably guess what’s coming on this next insert.  There’s a nice combination of foil and a vanilla background to make these inserts stand out.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Derek Jeter!   I tried touching this one up to make that foil pop and I think it turned out nicely.


Fielder’s Choice Laser Cuts (1:73 packs)

I’m a really big fan of these inserts.  Pacific made them for 3 years (1998-2000) and they are each similar in the design.  Another popular look with Pacific’s inserts is the laser-cut technology.  While they weren’t the most sought after brand, they do boast some of the most uniquely designed inserts on the 90’s insert market.  Stay tuned for some examples coming up later this week 🙂  We were lucky enough to find one of these in this box of Mark McGwire, my dad’s favorite player growing up.


Opening Day Issue Cards (1 per box)

Although this last parallel is guaranteed at one per box, I couldn’t have been happier with the player one the front of the card.  This came within the first few packs so the rest of the break was a cherry on the sundae for sure!


There’s quite a few Thomas collectors out there so hopefully this will be able to add to their collection!

What wasn’t pulled –

Platinum Blue Parallel (1:73 Packs)

These are blue foil variations of the base cards.  Was hoping to catch a glimpse of one but perhaps one will show up in a second box someday.

Cooperstown Bound (1:361 packs)

These inserts look like this Ripken here.  Typically when you think of an insert coming in at these odds, you are looking for something that stands out a bit more.  I don’t have a Rodriguez like this coming yet, but I will once I get around to placing an order of strictly Pacific inserts of his.  If it’s worth it I’ll post a follow up.

Pacific Proofs (#d to only 20)

There are no pictures of these on eBay I could find.  Imagine what finding one of these would feel like.

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A-

I only received a few duplicates which took the place of Griffey and Alex Rodriguez lol. Other than that I’m only 20 cards or less from the base set.

Condition: A

All the corners were sharp and the glossy finish of the cards is like they were the day they were packaged.

Pulls: A

A Jeter insert of any kind is fantastic!  That, coupled with a Thomas that is very desirable among 90’s collectors, and the die-cut make the pulls the best to date since I’ve broken 90’s boxes.

Value: B

For a $29 box I’d say that we did pretty darn good here!  However, I’m pretty sure that this box could have had little to no value in it had that parallel not been of a highly desired player.  Let’s say it was Royce Clayton (sorry Royce), then there would have been 3 boxes of base + a few low end inserts from today.  If you like chasing parallels and want to put a base set together with a box or two, then this cheaper Pacific product is for you. Just don’t expect much going in and you’ll enjoy the break like I did.


Overall Grade: B+



An “Overrated” Mailday…

…well, at least in the minds of the Yankee haters out there. I figured I would start catching up on some recent maildays so here’s the first card I had to show off. It features a player who was one of the biggest targets on my autograph wantlist:

This Derek Jeter autograph comes from 2007 UD Premier and is serially numbered 50/96 at the top. It is a sticker autograph, but it’s actually properly placed on the card for once and the card looks beautiful because of it! I bought this card from eBay member dibobby, who supplied very quick, courteous, and professional service. Check out his eBay store.